2018 Barth Pastors Conference

The Karl Barth Pastors Conference constructively utilizes Karl Barth’s life and theology as a rich resource for pastors in the twenty-first century. The conference seeks to be a hybrid space that unites deep theological reflection with the needs and concerns of pastors serving in the church today. Each lecture and workshop throughout the course of the conference explores various ways in which Barth’s service as a pastor and his lifelong theological contributions might offer creative and stimulating resources for the pastor’s work including preaching, pastoral care, social/political concerns and engagement, and witnessing to the Gospel in the world.

The 2018 Karl Barth’s Pastor’s Conference will be held on June 21-23 at Princeton Theological Seminary. The theme of this year’s conference will be “The Witness of the Pastor.” The conference will consist of three evening plenary lectures, an extended lecture series, various workshops, and a special message from Eugene Peterson to be delivered by his son Eric Peterson on Friday evening.

We hope you will join us!



Regular Attendee: $295 (Includes breakfast on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, lunch on Thursday and Friday, the banquet dinner meal and reception on Thursday evening, and all refreshments)

Students: $80 (Does not include meals, but includes the reception on Thursday evening and all refreshments)

Registration is now closed. You can register in person at the conference registration table.

Plenary Speakers


Concurrent Speakers


Plenary Speakers

Parallel Speakers


June 21-23, 2018 (Thursday to Saturday)

Wednesday, June 20

4:00 - 6:30 p.m. Registration (Erdman Campus Center)

Thursday, June 21

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Registration (Erdman Campus Center)

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Worship (Miller Chapel) - Sally Brown, Preaching

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. Coffee Outside Stuart Hall

10:00 – 11:45 a.m. Extended Teaching - Christian Andrews (Stuart Hall 6)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Workshop A

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Coffee and Refreshments (Stuart Hall Basement)

3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Workshop B

4:15 – 6:00 p.m. Break/Free Time

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Banquet Dinner (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Plenary Session: Fleming Rutledge (Stuart Hall 6)

Friday, June 22

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Worship: preaching (Miller Chapel) - Gerald Liu, preaching

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. Coffee Outside Stuart Hall

10:00 – 11:45 a.m. Extended Teaching - Christian Andrews (Stuart Hall 6)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Workshop C

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Break - Coffee and Refreshments (Stuart Hall Basement)

3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Workshop D

4:15 – 6:30 p.m. Break - Free Dinner in Princeton

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Plenary Session: Andy Root (Stuart Hall 6)

8:00 – 9:30 p.m. Reception with Special Message from Eugene Peterson - to be delivered by his son, Eric Peterson (Main Lounge - Mackay Campus Center)

Saturday, June 23

Please make sure to check out from the Erdman Center before you leave for breakfast.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Worship (Miller Chapel)

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Extended Teaching - Christian Andrews (Stuart Hall 6)

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break - Coffee (Basement of Stuart)

11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Plenary Session: Nibs Stroupe (Stuart Hall 6)


Leader Name: Peter Anders (University of Oxford)

Title: “The Cruciform Witness of the Pastor”

Description: This workshop will explore some of the practical implications of Karl Barth’s theologia crucis for the witness of the pastor. We will begin by setting out the basic contours of Barth’s theologia crucis developed in his earlier theology, first as a corrective theology in response to the collapse of modern theology with the First World War, and then as a recovery of Martin Luther’s theologia crucis in his engagement at Göttingen with the Luther Renaissance. We will discuss the practical implications of Barth’s theologia crucis as it informs his theological method, homiletics, and ethics—the pastor’s cruciform witness to faith, hope, and love.

Leader Name: Raymond Carr (Pepperdine University)

Title: “Epistrophy: From Romans 13 to the 13th”

Description: In this workshop, I will utilize the theology of Karl Barth in conversation with James H. Cone to address the mythology of black criminality—specifically the prison industrial complex. Utilizing original research from the archives of William Stringfellow (who escorted Karl Barth on an American prison tour) in conversation Ava DuVernay’s galvanizing documentary 13th, I articulate a rapprochement between Barth and Cone that illuminates how Barth’s and Cone’s theology provide a framework for radical engagement in the socio-political arena. The term Epistrophy, coined by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, plays on the term epistrophe, which among theologians and New Testament writers signifies a turn or break from a previous mode of being. Epistrophy thus signifies the way a theology of redemption can turn or make its break with the “powers that be” in light of Barth and Cone’s theological contributions.

Leader Name: Angela Hancock (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

Title: “Sermon Purgatory with Karl Barth”

Description: Most preachers have some acquaintance with the dark night of the soul that can occur in the midst of writing a sermon—right at the intersection of exegesis and life. This workshop considers the potential contribution of Barth’s approach to sermon preparation for the practice of preaching today, with attention to biblical interpretation, creativity, and social/political witness.

Leader Name: Deborah Hunsinger (Princeton Theological Seminary)

Title: “Trauma, Mourning and Forgiveness: Karl Barth and Pastoral Care”

Description: Karl Barth (and his colleague in pastoral theology, Eduard Thurneysen) were both sharply critical of American approaches to pastoral care which were little more than “psychological counsel in religious garb.” This workshop will develop an approach to pastoral care in which psychological concepts will function as a truly auxiliary science but where the Word of God will take precedence.

The workshop will engage a case study in which a man, filled with regret for sins he committed, seeks his pastor with specific questions about God’s forgiveness. Together, the participants will engage the case, seeking to offer a more substantive theological conversation than what the pastor offers his parishioner.

Leader Name: Shannon Smythe (Seattle Pacific University)

Title: “Straight to the Heart: Delighting with Barth in Romans”

Description: In a 1924 letter to his good friend, Eduard Thurneysen, Barth expressed his utter delight in the letters of the apostle Paul. In comparison, all dogmatics and ethics were “slime” in Barth’s eyes. This workshop will endeavor to experience some of Barth’s delight with Romans by dipping into his engagement with Romans 7 in two different theological contexts: the 2nd edition of his Romans commentary and the fourth volume of the Church Dogmatics. Both works will give us insight into Barth’s commitment, as a dialectical theologian, to the good news of God’s justification of the ungodly. Barth hears Paul’s proclamation of our liberation by God from sin and death and for new freedom and life in Christ by the Spirit. We will wrestle together with the existential implications of understanding justification, in contrast to all religious striving, as a constant, dynamic transition in us patterned after the history of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Leader Name: John Swinton (University of Aberdeen)

Title: “Being in Christ: Barth, Human Identity, and the Experience of Brain Damage.”

Description: The workshop will focus on the ways in which Barth’s thinking around the idea of being in Christ impacts upon the issue of identity in relation to three groups of people who have experienced significant brain damage: people with profound intellectual disability, people with advanced dementia, and people living with traumatic brain injury. Focusing on Barth’s thinking around soteriological objectivism - the suggestion that there is no other truth about us other than the truth of who we are before God in Jesus - we will explore what it is that makes “you” “you” in the midst of significant brain changes or the lack of neurological development. The workshop will explore issues of identity, personhood, personality change, the nature of discipleship, and salvation.

Call for Applications


Lodging at Princeton Seminary’s Erdman Center is full for this conference.

We have reserved rooms on-campus at the seminary’s dormitory rooms, and off-campus at the nearby DoubleTree Hotel:

Dormitory Rooms:

Located on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary in Alexander Hall and in easy walking distance to downtown Princeton. Guests check in and receive their room keys at the front desk of the seminary’s Erdman Center at 20 Library Place, Princeton NJ. Note that rooms are dormitory style with an XL twin bed, linens, a night stand, dresser, desk with chair, and a book shelf. All rooms have WiFi. Recently renovated bathrooms on each floor are shared by all rooms on a hallway. Please note before booking that the dormitories do not have an elevator or wheelchair ramps.

Each dormitory room is $47 per night.

Please call (609) 497-7990 to make a reservation and indicate that you are attending the Barth Pastors Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary.

DoubleTree Hotel:

We have reserved a room block at the nearby DoubleTree Hotel in Princeton at 4355 US-1, Princeton, NJ 08540. Rooms start at $139 per evening. To book a reservation, please click here.

Maps and Directions

By Air

From Newark Liberty International Airport

The Olympic Airporter shuttle service takes you to the Nassau Inn in Princeton; call for schedule and reservations: 800.822.9797 (within the United States) or 732.938.6666 (outside the United States), or visit www.olympicairporter.com

The AirTrain takes you from all airport terminals to the Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station. Take New Jersey Transit southbound (Northeast Corridor Line) trains to Princeton Junction. From Princeton Junction take the train to Princeton Station.

From Philadelphia International Airport

Take the R1 High Speed Rail Line (entrance on pedestrian bridges and commercial roadway), limousine service (The Olympic Airporter; call for reservations: 800.822.9797 within the United States or 732.938.6666 outside the United States, or visitwww.olympicairporter.com), or local taxi service to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, where you can purchase a SEPTA/New Jersey Transit ticket to take a SEPTA train to Trenton and a New Jersey Transit train to Princeton Junction. From Princeton Junction take the train to Princeton Station.

By Bus

From Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City (41st Street and 8th Avenue)
Purchase a Suburban Transit bus ticket to Princeton at windows 16 through 19 on the first floor. Board the bus on the third floor (fourth level) at gates 420 through 422. The bus leaves every half hour between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on weekends, and every half hour on the hour until 1:00 a.m. The trip is one and one-half hours. Ask the driver to let you off at the end of Nassau Street where it meets Mercer Street and Route 206 in Princeton, and walk to the Seminary.

By Train

From New York City (and north) and Philadelphia (and south)
New Jersey Transit services Princeton from the north (New York City, Newark), with connecting service from the south (Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC). Amtrak trains stop in Trenton, and some at Princeton Junction.

By Car

From the North/New York City
Take the New Jersey Turnpike South to Exit 9 (New Brunswick). After the tollbooths, bear right onto the ramp for Route 18 North. Shortly after getting onto Route 18 North the road will fork; stay to the left of the fork, in the right lane. Bear right onto this exit for Route 1 South/Trenton. Follow Route 1 South to Alexander Road (Princeton). Turn right onto Alexander Road and continue to the entrance of Princeton Seminary, which is the first left turn after College Road (Alexander Road will be Alexander Street at this point).

From the West

Take I-78 East into New Jersey. Exit onto I-287 South toward Somerville. Follow signs for Routes 202/206 South. Travel south on 202 for a short distance and then follow signs for Route 206 South. You will go around a traffic circle. Continue south on Route 206 for about eighteen miles to Nassau Street (Route 27) in the center of Princeton. Turn left onto Nassau Street and the first right onto Mercer Street and continue to the main entrance of Princeton Seminary, which will be on your left.

From the South

From southern New Jersey take I-295 North (becomes I-95 South) to the “Princeton Pike North” exit and continue on Princeton Pike for approximately five miles. Immediately after passing Library Place (on the left), the main entrance to the campus will be on your right.

From the East

Take I-95 West toward Trenton to the exit for I-295 North (becomes I-95 South) to the “Princeton Pike North” exit and continue on Princeton Pike for approximately five miles. Immediately after passing Library Place (on the left), the main entrance to the campus will be on your right.

From Philadelphia

Take I-95 North into New Jersey and exit at “Princeton Pike North” and continue on Princeton Pike for approximately five miles. Immediately after passing Library Place (on the left), the main entrance to the campus will be on your right.
A detailed map of Princeton Theological Seminary is shown below.

Princeton Seminary Main Campus Map

Detailed Map of Princeton Theological Seminary
Detailed Map of Princeton Theological Seminary


If you have any questions or concerns, email us at barth.center@ptsem.edu or call us at 609-524-1981.

Please allow at least three business days for an email response.

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